As you read this today, somewhere around the globe, someone (besides us) is sure to be in school, already racking their brains to understand some new formula or simply doodling on the side of a notebook, pretending- in all honesty, of course- to be listening to the teacher (which might well be understood since, surprisingly enough, the origin of the word school is the ancient Greek term skhole, meaning either leisure, or things done in one’s leisure time).
School is universal and the dates when it begins spin with the Earth, although, at a first glance, early autumn seems to hold the top spot.
In Japan, school starts in April, and in some rare cases, October. And it is not limited to teaching mathematics and other traditional things, but it also includes the vast area of moral education, adding the very socially pragmatic topics of health and safety, courtesy, public manners, and environmental awareness.
Mexico, too, brings environmental knowledge and oral expression to the bigger picture of education. And with them, just like with us, school begins in the first month of autumn, to last until June. Both Japan and Mexico want to see their students in uniforms. In Russia, this is not the case (what with the cold and all) and here, too, kids take the path to meet their teachers on the first days of September. France prefers the month of August to bring its young ones back to school and, just like the Russians, kids are off the hook when it comes to uniforms
Just like in Mexico, Russia or China, in Romania as well, school is always September’s gift…or challenge. And speaking of challenges, do you have any recollection about the beginning of your own personal history with school? Do you remember if it made you feel excited, curious or simply bashful, as it happens sometimes when on the verge of entering an unfamiliar territory? And, once located on these novel grounds, have you ever been able to leave them behind completely? Someone said, not so long ago, that after graduating from University, they were very content, thinking to themselves: finally, I am done with school! But right after uttering those words, there was the test for the Master’s, then doctoral research, then all sorts of classes and studies and finally, just before an early retirement, the driving license examination. “You are in school your entire life. You actually never leave it. There will always be something else for you to learn, some other examination to pass. ” So, September or not, we are always sure to begin school again, in one way or another. This, of course, is the truth, from the perspective of the eternal students that we all are. There is also the truth of the teacher, the one that gets to see it all happen from the other side, year after year. And if you have ever wondered if that could become dull or repetitive in any way, take a short, but careful glance at what is written below by one of them:
“As a teacher, you might think that, in time, you will lose your ability to get excited, that the middle of the month of September will no longer hold any wonder for you. That couldn’t be farther from the truth! From the very first days of August, you start sensing it, school…you see it right before your eyes, you remember it, you can actually hear its particular soundtrack- the never ending, lively buzz of children, the rustles and the school bell chimes, the chaotic noise of footsteps on corridors or of doors being slammed, the almost imperceptible whispers; you smell it- old wood, new furniture, pieces of chalk, markers for the white board, ink, the liquid freshness of water colors and the irresistible odor of newly printed books. But beyond everything, school is something you actually live every day, it is a part of you. At first, it is emotion, fear, even- will it be ok? you ask yourself. Then, of course, it also involves a little sadness- since summer holiday is over- and then, pure joy, because of the children and the colleagues- and, of course, it is never ever routine. “
That being said, be sure to honor a teacher- any teacher who may have inspired you- through an honest thought 🙂 And good luck with school this year, whatever that may mean for you – all in all, we are positive you will pass whatever there is to pass with flying colors 😉